Dead Space Story Producer: Gears of War Has ‘Worst Writing in Games’
Gears of War has “literally the worst writing in games,” says the story producer on Dead Space — but he also admits the story in Visceral Games’ third-person horror title isn’t the best, either.
Chuck Beaver, the story producer for Dead Space and one who previously worked on story for James Bond games Everything or Nothing, From Russia With Love and 007: NightFire, made the comments in an official EA interview. The link to the original interview seems to be dead, but Eurogamer has a nice summary of a few key points:
“Story can only ruin a game for those people who care about story, so it’s a conditional answer,” he said when asked whether story can ruin a good game. “For instance, Gears of War. It contains atrocious, offensive violations of story basics. Yet it doesn’t seem to ruin it for many, many people. It’s literally the worst writing in games, but seems to have no ill effects.”
He also said that Dead Space was “just a simple haunted house story.”
POTENTIAL SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT!
When talking about the plot of Dead Space, Beaver said the end result was a personal story regarding protagonist Isaac Clarke’s girlfriend, “pasted” onto a haunted house story. Writers were overruled often, and the final boss fight was added without Beaver even being part of the discussion.
Dead Space 2 was a huge challenge. All these elements from the original game that were poorly thought through, like the Marker Lore, Necro ecology, etc., had to move coherently forward into the next narrative. The first story we had was a wreck of unrelated events and broken structure, so we cut our teeth getting that into shape, and didn’t fully make it.
Plus, we got lost a bit in complicated lore and plot elements that didn’t come through. And don’t even get me started on the final boss sequence that they put in without me in the meeting! That was fun.
Beaver pointed to Valve’s Portal 2 as an example of a game that gets story and gameplay right in equal measure.
Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, for his part, said recently that he hopes any future Gears of War games are a bit more serious. The goal with Gears of War was to make the games less “dude-bro” and more like the HBO series Band of Brothers. That was especially apparent with Gears of War 3, although that game’s story was a bit heavy handed (see: sequence involving piano cover of “Mad World”).